Westminster Conservatives are planning to let scarce Council flats at ‘intermediate rents’ to those earning over £50,000 a year

Despite 1,000 families living in overcrowded conditions, Westminster Conservatives are planning to let scarce Council flats at ‘intermediate rents’ to those earning over £50,000 a year. In a report to this week’s Housing and Finance Scrutiny Committee, Councillors were asked to consider;

“In the future a proportion of social rented homes should be let to ‘’intermediate’’ households. The City Council will always have to meet its statutory responsibilities to provide social rented homes to people with priority, however the impact of welfare reform, and the ability to discharge duty into the private rented sector, could result in the longer term in a drop in demand for social rented housing from traditional groups. “

The report concluded with a proposal with which all the Conservative Councillors on the Committee agreed;

“Whether reduced demand for social rented housing due to welfare reform is likely in the long term. If so, more flexibility to use some social rented homes for intermediate customers (at intermediate rents) could result. This could be facilitated through merging the intermediate and social rented housing registers.”

Councillor Guthrie McKie, Labour Spokesperson for Housing, said

“The Council has given up trying to find housing solutions for the 1,000 Westminster families living in overcrowded and 400 families in unsuitable housing conditions. Instead they have developed a model, urged on to achieve ‘balanced’ communities, of intermediate rents. To access these new housing opportunities all intermediate rents will be linked to earnings and, of course, you don’t even have to be a Westminster resident to qualify. For a 2 bedroom flat you will need and income of £40-50k pa. A 3 bedroom flat will require an income of £56k pa. The average income of Westminster families with high housing need is £25k pa.”

“The acquisition of the new intermediate housing units will be funded by the Affordable Housing Fund (AHF). This fund is what developers pay into when they don’t want to build on site affordable housing.”

“The insanity of Westminster’s housing policy knows no bounds. With many of our residents with long residential links to Westminster living in dreadful housing conditions, the Conservatives devise a scheme where people with good jobs earning twice the average wage, with no residential links, receive a subsidy to help then rent a flat. It is an affront to the notion of good and civilised governance.”

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This entry was posted in Housing, Housing Benefit, Intermediate Housing, Overcrowded households, Social Housing and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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